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Saturday, February 11, 2012

A foreign Field (released in 1993) - Starring Alec Guinness, Leo McKern, Lauren Bacall - 50 years after D-Day

A Foreign Field is a movie made by the BBC for commemorating the 50th anniversary of the D-day landings and portrays the story of the veterans who come to Normandy in search of the memories of their loved ones. It stars Lauren Bacall, Alec Guinness, John Randolph, Leo mcKern, Edward Herrman, Geraldine Chaplin and host of American, Australian, and French Actors. Directed by Charles Sturridge it was produced by BBC and is a staple on the channel during World War II anniversaries.
The movie has two World War veterans, Cyril and Waldo coming to Normandy to find their stories again. Cyril is accompanied by his old friend Amos whereas Waldo has his uptight daughter and her henpecked husband coming with him him. Amos played by the legendary Sir Alec Guinness is a treat to watch as the mentally affected veteran. Both of them remember the blood bath in the beaches of Normandy and among those terrifying tales a memory of a beautiful French nurse is tucked away.

After fifty years of being unaware of each others association, they have come in search of that old flame who kept them sane during those terrifying times. Cyril being British hates crazy Americans and the American Wald hates the uppity British. While sharing their memories, each find out about Angelique, the French Nurse and almost comes to blows because of her. Rounding up the people stalking the memories is Lisa, a boozy widow who has a secret of her own. These unlikely group move through the fields of Normandy, the memories of comrades long gone and understand the finality of life again.
Amos played by Alec Guinness should be one of the most favorite character of a war movie. With his gestures and facial expression he goes down in to our hearts as the wounded man both in body and mind. The others play the war scarred, but stable characters. The bickering husband and wife duo cauldron have been avoided as they had nothing, not even as the thankless generation which followed. But the cake goes to Angelique, the fresh faced nurse who had seduced both the veterans, now old and confined to a home. Lauren Bacall returns to a better suited role and is great as the loud mouthed widow who is in search of her brother's grave. Even at this dismal place she sings her blues away ad is one of the most enduring images in “The Foreign Field”.
Some times I wonder how come this sweet movie is tucked away as a television movie outed during the anniversaries. It raises a few laughs about men who fought for freedom which would help them in the quest for happiness. It chronicles the young who died and the later old ones who survived but are haunted by those memories. This movie does not deserve to be confined to those television outings but has to reach one and all. It will be a welcome break from all those sugary romances one is forced to watch nowadays. Great movie need to be watched by all.

A foreign Field (released in 1993) - Starring Alec Guinness, Leo McKern, Lauren Bacall - 50 years after D-Day

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